Blog, Conferences and Field trips
Alexander Osipov & Jani Karhu
The 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Tourism Management was held in Amsterdam from 26 to 28 August 2018. Jani Karhu and Aleksandr Osipov took part in the conference and presented their own papers. The approach of the conference organized by JOAMS journal was defined as multidisciplinary. In practice this means that the conference consisted of various sectors of science such as history and culture, art and architecture. Case studies, presented at the conference, covered European, Asian and Latin American countries.
One of the main topics of the event was tourism and its forms: ecotourism, rural tourism, culture tourism etc. Researchers discussed actively the issue of the relationship between tourists and the local population. Dewa Ayu Made Lily Dianasari focused on the community perception of ecotourism principles. Her research was based on the data, collected in the Indonesian ecological village. The concept of the ecological villages was supported of the authorities of Bali. According to this research, the local population is interested in cultural and nature conservation and ecotourism development. On the other hand, should the local population respond to the needs of tourists, maintain their aims and transform the own way of life?
The same question could be addressed to another speaker from Bali Ni Made Tirtawati, presented a paper, dedicated to the young generation involvement to the tourism industry of certain villages. Results of this study demonstrate that young generation is the “tools” in the development of cultural tourism products. However, is it a part of everyday life or participation of youth is essential to the survival or it is a kind of dictatorship? Thus, case studies from Bali are not only outstanding results of co-existence of local population, nature and tourists.
One of the keynote speakers, professor Rajive Mohan Pant spoke about the same rural village tourism theme in his presentation titled Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through Rural Tourism: Insights from three Himalayan Countries. In his presentation Pant pointed out that solutions have to come out from the within and Rural Tourism has the potentials to take care of a few sustainable development goals, crucial for human existence. In Nepal, Bhutan and in India tourism in rural area villages, is a growing business and especially the system of home accommodation in villages has produced good results.
Another example presented by Aleksandr Osipov concerned the Paanajärvi national park. The author argued that emergence of the park led to an imbalance between human and nature. The reducing of logging area led to the unemployment and people outflow from the closest settlements to the park. Transformation of local economy from forest industry to the tourism was slow. Returning to the idea of a mountain ski center near the park could be a way out for local economy.
In his presentation History and Potential of Sustainable Nature tourism in Finland Jani Karhu crossed the same issues with Osipov. Human-nature relationship has been one of the key issues purchasing National Parks and further, the idea of sustainability in Finnish aspect. In Koli and Urho Kekkonen national parks, it has been a matter of anthropocentric versus ecocentric confrontation; from which point of the view the nature and the National Park areas are utilized. The potential for growing the sustainable tourism business is prominent, but keeping the growth in sustainable limits is a real challenge.
All these presentations pointed out the potentials of Sustainable tourism, but also some differences between came out. In poor countries like Indonesia, Nepal and Bhutan, it is a matter of how to share the economic benefits, prevent the poverty, and at the same time keep the traditional culture real and alive. In Carelia and especially in Finland poverty is not a first issue, and local cultures are not under the pressure of transition because of tourism, it is more about how to develop rural areas and National Parks and which comes first: nature protection or financial benefits?